The hotMaMa Diaries Blog - Breastfeeding blog and parenting blog

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Everyone has a different experience of parenting and motherhood and there is no right or wrong path. The hotMaMa diaries is a place to read stories from other mothers and even share your own!

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Category: Mama Mental and Physical Wellbeing

  1. Learning to love my body again

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    Social media is awash at the minute with mothers celebrating their post birth body. They are embracing their lumps, bumps and imperfections because their body created amazing little people. They grew humans inside of them and then brought them into the world to breath new life. It’s wonderful to see such an outpouring of love and pride for a realistic image of a woman’s body. It’s left me feeling a bit left out though.

    You see, my body didn’t create my little human. Another woman did that. She grew and nurtured our daughter in her tummy. She felt her first kick and watched her bump grow as our daughter developed in her womb. I can’t begin to imagine how she must have felt when her waters broke. She had already decided then she wasn’t going to be able to look after the baby she was about to bring into the world. She endured a no doubt excruciating labour knowing she wasn’t going to be taking home the little human she’d grown inside her for 9 months.

    For a long time, I fell out of love with my body. Since time began, women have become pregnant and given birth. I felt such a failure that I didn’t and incredibly let down by my body. It was the complete opposite to the way that the social media mums are loving their bodies because they created a life. I was loathing mine because it didn’t. Every month I’d get a punch in the face, as regular as clockwork, reminding me that my body COULD get pregnant, it just wasn’t.

    Infertility is one of those things that unless you’ve experienced it, you really can’t understand how someone who is going through it is feeling. Month after month, I’d be on a rollercoaster of hope at the start of my cycle, followed very quickly with crushing disappointment. Every twinge during the “2 week wait” would be analysed, googled, cherished and then quickly thrown away in despair.

    Why couldn’t I get pregnant? Everyone else seemed to be. I was reasonably fit and healthy, as was my husband. He went along with the endless attempts at new positions / baggy underwear / bath ban / vitamin overkill I forced on him as I desperately clung on to the hope that it would happen. During that time, my best friends had produced 10 kids between them and my sister had 2. There had been crushing miscarriages too, but 12 babies gave me hope that it would happen for us.

    But it didn’t. I felt completely inadequate. A failure as a woman. It wasn’t that I was getting pregnant and then my body rejected it. I just didn’t get pregnant. I have never experienced the thrill of a positive pregnancy test of my own. I’ve seen the line change for someone else which was a feeling I will never forget. It’s never happened to me though.

    If I’m being completely honest with myself, I think I knew that it never would. That thought didn’t help with the hurt and the pain and the all consuming disappointment I felt for a long time. My body had let me down, big time. I felt like I wasn’t a real woman because I couldn’t grow a human inside me. My lumps and bumps weren’t badges of honour. They were stark reminders every single day that my body hadn’t done what it was meant to.

    I was so desperate to become a mum. As the months went by I was terrified it was never going to happen. At times, I didn’t know if I could cope with that. I felt a physical ache as I contemplated a future not being a mum.

    I’m a great believer that things happen for a reason. The reason may not always be as clear as it could be, but it’s there, somewhere. The reason I didn’t get pregnant is because I wasn’t meant to. I wasn’t meant to be a tummy mummy. I was meant to grow my child in my heart. She grew there for a very long time, but once we met her, everything made sense.

    Mother nature decided that my route to motherhood was via adoption. I was always meant to be our daughter’s mum and if I’d got pregnant and had a birth child, that would never have happened. The thought of our daughter not being part of our lives utterly terrifies me.

    We waited such a long time to meet her. I get now though that I had to go through all of the pain, heartache and despair so that I could be her mum. And also so that I could appreciate how hard it must have been for her tummy mummy to walk away.

    So my body didn’t let me down at all. It took me on a journey and kept me going until our daughter was ready for us. My jelly belly may not have been created by our daughter growing inside me. It was created while she grew in my heart.


    Read more from Suzy at 

    twitter : @wemadeawish

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  2. Hit it or not

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    10 weeks post partum and feeling grumpy and frumpy. Time to do something about it so did abit of research and found a class where you can take your baby! Great. Watched videos about the class on YouTube and signed up. Gulp.

    Thought about buying some new snazzy (yes, ‘snazzy’ because I’m THAT cool) active gear but then considered not only the cost but the fact they may not even get worn. I ended up at Tesco buying some Lycra bootcuts for £8. They’ll be comfy when I’m watching telly & feeding the baby at least!

    The morning of the class came. I got there early to psych myself up in the car. Practically sweating already from nerves and I’m not even in the class!

    I pretty much talked myself out of it but then remembered speaking to my 7 year old son, Max, that day while he ate his breakfast. “You got this Mum”. Gulp. Can’t let him down. Or Lily, who was in the car looking up at me expectedly.

    I took her out of the car and into her pram and walked in. Other mums around me were walking in and I judged how I’l thought I’d measure up. Was it too late to turn back?

    Finally I’m inside the studio, 10 yoga mats with weights are laid down in a semi circle with little baby play gyms in the middle for the babies.

    Lily stayed by my side in her car seat, she was the youngest there by a good few months so I wanted her close.

    The instructor welcomes me with a smile. I smile back hiding my fear!

    I can’t bring myself to look in the dance mirror which covers the entire wall so I focus on Lily.

    The beat starts. Not so much music. Beats. This isn’t a nice postnatal aerobics class. It’s HIT. High intensity Training. Bloody hell. 45minutes to go – 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off to breathe. Yes, you’re allowed 15 seconds. A whole 15 seconds to breathe.

    Gordon Bennett.

    I’m about 3 minutes in and we’ve already covered burpees and mountain climbers. Seriously. Google them if you don’t know what they are. Literally by the time it’s taken me to get down on the mat, the other mums are back up and on the next movement.

    7 minutes in and I am seriously considering walking out. But I don’t want to seem rude so I start thinking of other ways to get out asap.

    I could faint dramatically- I used to do drama, I’m sure I could make it believable. No, that’s not fair on Lily – they might call 999. They might call Social Services. I’d probably get arrested for wasting time. No. Can’t do that.

    By the time I’d come up with 3 alternative options I’d actually been in the class 30 minutes. Just do it, Hannah. 15 minutes left.

    And then It was over. I enjoyed the ‘cool down’ which was basically just stretching your arms. Sorted – I had that nailed.

    I made a quick exit after deciding I’m not quite ready for this level of intensity. I won’t be back. I’m proud at least for trying, but for now, I’m certainly more comfortable in a coffee house where my face is a relatively normal shade of pale and I can sit down. With no sweat patches.


    Read more from Hannah at

  3. Mummy milestones

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    We have all seen the baby milestone cards, baby’s first smile, first tooth, first steps. This got me thinking about all the mummy milestones.

    The difference between baby and mummy milestones is that the baby ones are things you are expecting to celebrate, I mean who was not the proudest parent when your little bundle of joy gave you their first gummy smile. Mummy milestones on the other hand our completely different……..

    1. Using the bathroom alone.This one I am still waiting to happen, but I’ve been told it will happen eventually and it is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I can not wait to have a pee in peace without the threenager, the cat or the husband coming to see what I am doing.

    2. Using a bag for just my crap. Do you remember those pre child days where your handbag only contained the essentials, phone, purse, keys and Lippy. Now my handbag resembles Mary Poppins magic bag. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have pulled a pull-up out of my bag in the Tesco que when looking for my purse.

    3. Going to bed at a normal hour. How many of you mummies stay up much later then you should just to get some much needed “me time”. I often stay up until some stupid hour to watch “just one more episode” or find myself dicking around on Facebook/Instagram and instantly regret it when the 6am alarm clock is poking me in the head telling me the sun is up.

    4. Wearing something that isn’t stretchy or practical. My wardrobe mainly consists of leggings, stretchy jeans and stripped tops, the standard mummy uniform. When you wear something fitted and smart you feel like a new woman even if you haven’t washed your hair for 5 days and still have Mondays make up on.

    5. Doing a food shop without anyone throwing a tantrum. Remember those days before kids when the weekly shop was a chore and you dreaded it? Well doing the weekly shop with a tired/hungry/grumpy 3 year old is a new kind of hell. There is shouting (me) tears (sometimes me) and general frustration (also me). But sometimes your darling hubby whispers those magic words to you “I’ll stay at home with the kid you go shopping” These magic words have the same effect as Tom Hardy saying he is going to cook you dinner naked. 2 WHOLE hours alone, browsing oh how I have missed browsing. Actually having time to think about what you need instead of grabbing random stuff in a blind panic just so you can get out without a scene being caused!

    I’m hopeful that one day in the not to distant future I will have achieved all my milestones but at the moment I’d be happy with using the bathroom in peace!

    I’d love to hear your mummy milestones.

    Mummy Em x

    Emma is a mama of one curly haired little girl called Chloe. Married to Mr D. Working full time and trying to juggle everything ????  Read more from her at:

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    Body Positivity, this is a subject that I feel quite strongly about so I wanted to get involved and tell my story. Did you know that 71% of women have received negative comments about their post baby bodies? With family members and strangers being the most common culprits.

    When I was pregnant, It took me a while to get used to my ‘new body’. I did definitely struggle at first to accept the changes, I felt like I had no control over my weight gain and I actually put on 2 stone when I was pregnant with my daughter. Before I fell pregnant, I hated my body – I was very underweight, I thought I was fat, I felt ugly.. I was receiving help for my mental health issues when I found out I was pregnant, and after I had gotten round to the idea of having a baby, I started to fall in love with my body. I felt like I finally had a purpose in life and the horrible thoughts of ‘not eating’ and ‘not looking after myself’ slowly went away. Being pregnant helped me immensely, it helped me feel more confident about my body and a lot more positive about my future. 

    Breastfeeding Blog Image 2

    Despite suffering with a severe anxiety disorder and feeling like “everybody was staring at me” when I walked through the street, I felt more confident in myself. Being a young mum and having my baby at just aged 17, I felt like people would judge me and I’m sure they did.. At first, my dad and my brother both resented me, I didn’t have much contact with either of them for a while and I felt like this was maybe the worst decision I had ever made. However, they soon came round to the idea and realised just how much of a different person I had become since falling pregnant and now I am closer than ever with both my dad and my brother, which is amazing.

    Becoming a young mum made me feel like it was ‘wrong’ to enjoy my pregnancy and because of this I feel like I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I should have done. I was constantly worrying about what other people thought instead of thinking about what was best for me. Next time around, I really hope to enjoy my pregnancy a lot more, take more pictures and document it on the blog. I am looking forward to falling pregnant again with baby number 2.

    Since having my daughter in February last year, I feel like I have lost confidence again. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the amount of changes that would be happening to my body. When I was pregnant I actually got rid of all of my old clothes, pre-pregnancy I was a very small size 6, whilst I was pregnant I put on 2 stone and shot up to a size 12/14. I was convinced that I would be this size forever, however after giving birth I instantly went back to a size 10. Standing in front of the mirror for the first time after giving birth is scary, I felt so different and not like myself. It was almost as if I was looking at a completely different person. It took me a long time to adjust to my new figure and it took me a fair few months to get back into my size 8 body and after feeling crap about my body for months on end, I finally went out and bought myself some clothes that fit.

    Breastfeeding Blog Image 1

    It has now been nearly 16 months since I gave birth to my daughter, the time has absolutely flown by and I am still not overly confident about my body, however I am learning to love it a little bit more. My post baby body is completely different to my pre-baby body but I am slowly learning to accept that.  So, what has changed? Everything has changed and I feel like there are a lot of things that you don’t get warned about. I now have a ‘mum tum’ which I’m not a fan of, before having a baby I had quite a tight stomach.. there was no ‘flab’ on me and I had what I now see as a flat stomach. Now I have a mum tum, a tummy with excess skin. My boobs have changed, when I was pregnant and after having my little girl – they were huge & that is one thing I actually liked about myself, although they were uncomfortable at times, I felt like my clothing looked nicer and my body looked more even. I stopped breastfeeding after just 2 weeks and since my milk dried up, my boobs are now non-existent. Pancakes. Again, not a fan of those either. Although I only managed to feed my baby myself for a short 2 weeks, I still managed it and I am proud of that. 

    Breastfeeding Blog Image 3

    My body is a completely different shape to what it used to be, I’m not as skinny looking.. I feel better about that however I feel more chunky now. My legs are bigger and my hips are wider, I gained lots of stretch marks towards the end of my pregnancy, around my boobs, my tummy and on the insides of my legs. Postpartum hair loss has been a big problem for me too, before having a baby I could wash my hair and not batter an eye lid but now at 16 months postpartum, I wash my hair and half of it falls out. I am actually starting to go bald in some places which is quite embarrassing but I am doing the best I can to keep my hair in good condition and prevent it from falling out, although I am aware that this isn’t really something you can stop completely. Unfortunately I have suffered / am still suffering with postnatal depression, which is something that a lot of mums go through and this has had a huge impact on my confidence.

    “Stretchmarks are the markings of a mother”

    Breastfeeding Blog Image 5

    Don’t get me wrong, I am so so grateful for my body and I love that my body has housed my baby, I still can’t quite believe that I gave birth to a baby but the transition between body changes is something that a lot of us struggle with especially first time mums. As you can tell, I’m quite self conscious about my Mama Figure post baby and overall I have found the transitions extremely hard to deal with but I am slowly learning to love my postpartum body. Finally! As I said at the start of this post, Channel Mum’s topic this week is all about body positivity and they have encouraged mums (like myself) to get involved. Research shows that 85% of mums want their postpartum bodies to be celebrated. 62% of women want celebrities like Kim Kardashian to be more honest.

    There is no shame in being confident & proud of your body, your body grew an actual human being, how amazing is that! You should be proud! You are amazing, you look amazing and you have done an amazing thing. 

    I am passing this message onto all of you lovely mums out there today so that we can start feeling a little bit better about ourselves. These are not photo’s that I ever thought I would share on the internet but I wanted to show you all that its okay to not be body confident, it’s okay to have stretchmarks and a saggy tummy.. it’s okay to be honest.

    Do you feel confident in your body after having a baby?

    Thanks for reading,

    Zoe x

    A little Bit About Mummy & Liss: 
    I'm Zoe, 19 years old and a young mama to Alyssia Grace. I run a parenting & lifestyle blog over at where I talk about all things mummy, toddler & baby related and love sharing my experiences as a young mum. I run my own guest post series called the #YoungMumsProject and you can find me on facebook, twitter & instagram. 
  5. Insta Mums VS Reality

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    People only post things online that they want others to see, you need to remember this when scrolling through your news feeds. You see the ‘perfect insta mums’ who have their sh#t together, but in reality.. is that the truth? Spotless houses with not a random toy or a pack of wetwipes in site, but really they are only showing you what they want you to see. You don’t see the toddler tantrums, you see smiley happy faces. You don’t see messy houses, you see tidy living rooms. You don’t always see the whole truth.

    I have always been envious of Instagram accounts that have those perfect themes, white backgrounds, everything matching & nothing is out of place but then I remember that they are only showing you what they want you to see. You don’t see the mess in the room next door..So when you’re desperate to be ‘one of them’ please remember this.

    There are so many things that we ‘fake’ online, perfection being just one of them. Clothing & Appearance being another, we are all guilty of it. With Instagram filters & different editing tools a lot of us have come experts at making us look nothing like ourselves, I for sure do not have bunny ears or funky glasses but on Instagram stories I do. I understand the reasoning behind editing your photo’s, I went through a stage when I was about 13 of editing my face on picmonkey so much that I looked like an oompa loompa with a blurry face. I guess we think “Well if I can make myself look better, why wouldn’t I?” Umm, because its not you.. Its not real. When you see the meme’s saying “Stop editing your photo’s, what if you go missing? How can we find you if you look like beyonce online and chewbacca in person” while this is quite a harsh way of putting it, its true.

    Recently I have seen quite a lot of hate on one particular Instagram account, where a mum is posting her everyday life as a stay at home parent. This mum is like every other mum on Instagram, the only difference being that she is posting her bad days as well as her good days. This does not mean that she is seeking attention or that she is a bad parent, this is because she is real. Parenting is hard work at times, my little girl is my absolute world, but my god she drives me batty at times and I think its important that we all know that which is why I for one will not sugarcoat my experiences as a young mum.

    Post what you want, but stop sugarcoating sh#t. We’re all just winging it really, lets be honest..


    A little Bit About Mummy & Liss: 
    I'm Zoe, 19 years old and a young mama to Alyssia Grace. I run a parenting & lifestyle blog over at where I talk about all things mummy, toddler & baby related and love sharing my experiences as a young mum. I run my own guest post series called the #YoungMumsProject and you can find me on facebook, twitter & instagram. 


  6. My Physical & Emotional Agony of Breast Feeding

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    20170621_182015Throughout my first pregnancy I did absolutely no research or preparation for breast feeding. It was one of those things I just assumed was going to be easy. I did attend one of the free NHS classes on breast feeding where they make you hold a doll and a knitted titty for practise, which I'm sure we'd all agree is pretty useless. There was no mention of difficulties you may come across and it was all made to sound very dreamy and beautiful.


    Dreamy and beautiful it was...for perhaps the first couple of weeks. Junior was born with an infection which meant he was rushed to the hospital’s neonatal unit for special care. Despite the tubes in his mouth and nose to help regulate his breathing, I was able to breast feed him with ease. After a week, he had responded well to antibiotics and gained enough weight for us to take him home, where the feeding continued to be a success. After week two however, his appetite increased to the point where he was feeding constantly, probably around 90% of the day he was latched on. This obviously took its toll on my nipples and I was in absolute agony. I found the Community Midwives and Health Visitors quite unsympathetic and unhelpful, simply telling me it was normal and to persevere, rather than recommending any helpful solutions. As a new mum, I knew nothing about products available that might help like nipple shields and lanolin cream, and there was no mention of these from the medical staff.


    By this time, I was really struggling with the pain and Junior was clearly starving. My husband suggested trying some formula, which I really didn’t want to do but seeing how distressed both me and Junior were, he insisted. So off he went to buy all the kit we needed and after just 2 ½ weeks old, Junior had his first taste of formula milk. He gulped it down in seconds and fell asleep for hours. After this we never looked back. Obviously I had the guilt almost every day, and I have to say, I know a lot of people talk about public breast feeding shamers but I found the amount of criticism I got when formula feeding in public far outweighed when I breast fed. Seeing how much more content Junior was made it worth it though. For the following 4 to 5 months, I persisted with a small amount of breast feeding alongside the formula. I still feel regret sometimes that I should have tried harder, but I look at Junior today and he is a happy, healthy boy with good eating habits so we must have done something right.


    Following this challenging experience with Junior, I have felt super determined and motivated to make it more of a success with my twins. During the pregnancy I focussed a lot of my time on preparation for breast feeding, making sure I had all the right kit and getting myself well informed by reading loads of books and info online. I bought a brilliant twin feeding cushion made by Peanut & Piglet, something I genuinely don't think I could have tandem fed without! Other things on my shopping list included a decent supply of nipple cream, nipple shields, washable breast pads and a double electrix breast pump. I began hand expressing colostrum during the final couple of weeks before the birth and froze it; this meant I had a small stash for those first few days, which just took the pressure off me a little at a time when milk production and supply can be unpredictable and often insufficient. I wish someone had told me about colostrum harvesting first time around! It was also so nice to later see my husband feed them in the hospital with the colostrum I'd expressed. 


    The twins are now more than a month old and as I write this I'm sat on the sofa breast feeding them. I'll be honest, it's not been easy (particularly during the hot weather!) but I think I have a better attitude this time around and have not put any pressure on myself which has ultimately made me relax into it better. I think it's also helped that the girls are nowhere near as hungry as Junior was. The key thing about the twins has been feeding them in tandem; if I didn't stick to feeding them together I would literally be feeding every hour of the day. I've also discovered some great tips about "lactogenic" foods from Hilary Jacobson's book 'Mother Food." I've been amazed at how much diet can affect my supply and fenugreek supplements have been my saviour. We've introduced a bottle of formula at bedtime every night and unlike last time, I feel absolutely no guilt about this. The girls love their bottles and it's nice to share the work with my husband, not to mention the extra sleep they get when they've had it! It's a welcomed moment of peace and calm that the whole household appreciates. I'm now focussing on expressing more so I can build up a supply in the freezer. This will give me more freedom both at home but also when I go out. As I'm trying to keep the girls fed together, I'm forced to use bottles when out and about as tandem nursing in public is pretty impossible, so that supply of expressed milk is really important for my sanity!


    I'm still on the journey and I know there will be highs and lows ahead, particularly as the girls go through growth spurts, but I'm proud of what I've achieved so far. If you'd told me during my son's first couple of months when I was a hormonal and emotional new mum with no idea what I was doing, that in 4 years time I'd be successfully breast feeding twins, I would have laughed in your face. My biggest advice to anyone about to embark on a similar journey is just to prepare as much as you possibly read read, learn as much as you can about what to expect, talk to others who've been through it and absolutely 100% do not put any pressure on yourself; that way you'll actually be able to enjoy the experience.

    Post submitted by Amy, a thirtysomething brit mum of three (including twins!)

    Read more from this amazing mummy at:

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